RECORD INFRASTRUCTURE SPEND THE NEW NORMAL, 2019 AUSTRALIAN INFRASTRUCTURE WARNS

 

 

A new wave of investment and reform is needed to ensure Australia’s infrastructure continues to support our quality of life and economic productivity over the next 15 years, according to the 2019 Australian Infrastructure Audit published today by Infrastructure Australia, the nation’s independent infrastructure advisor.

“Changing and growing demand, and a mounting maintenance backlog is putting unprecedented pressure on the infrastructure services each and every Australian relies on. The current infrastructure program must do more than plug the immediate funding gap, but instead deliver long-term changes to the way we plan, fund and deliver infrastructure,” said Infrastructure Australia Chair, Julieanne Alroe.

“Rather than a short-term boom, the historic level of activity we are seeing in the sector must, and is likely, to continue for the next 15 years and potentially beyond. This must be the new normal if we are to meet the challenges and opportunities ahead,” Ms Alroe said.

The 2019 Australian Infrastructure Audit presents a forward-looking view of our infrastructure challenges and opportunities over the next 15 years and beyond. It is the second national Audit Infrastructure Australia has undertaken, after the first was published in 2015, and examines the infrastructure needs of the Australian community and industry – covering the major infrastructure sectors of energy, transport, telecommunications, water – and for the first time, social infrastructure and waste.

“Since the last Australian Infrastructure Audit we released in 2015, Australia’s governments have made important progress to promote reform, improve planning and address infrastructure gaps. More than $123 billion of construction work has commenced since 2015, with a committed forward pipeline of over $200 billion. However, there is much more to do to ease the pressures of growth, catalyse development and enable our businesses to compete on a global stage,” Ms Alroe said.

“The 2019 Audit finds that infrastructure in our four largest cities – Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Perth – is failing to keep pace with rapid population growth, particularly on the urban fringe. With our population projected to grow by 24% to reach 31.4 million by 2034, our largest cities are expected to see pressure on access to infrastructure.

“The dominance of infill development in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane will require investment in high capacity public transport, enhancements to existing energy and water infrastructure, improved shared spaces and a renewal of inner city health and education services.

“In contrast, the growing outer suburbs of the other major cities, including Perth, where greenfield development will dominate, is are expected to see pressure on their road networks, as well as expansion of utility networks, new shared and recreation spaces as well as cultural facilities.

“The costs of inaction are significant. If investment were to stop, the cost of road congestion is projected to grow by $18.9 billion to $38.7 billion in 2031. This impacts quality of life, as well as our economic productivity and competitiveness as a nation,” said Ms Alroe.

The 2019 Audit puts the community at the centre of infrastructure planning, using user-focused measures of access, quality and cost, it also highlights how service quality varies greatly for Australians depending on where they live.

“Infrastructure quality is high in our urban centres, including our smaller cities and regional centres. However unlike our larger cities, there is often little choice of the types of services that people can access. These centres are also growing as regional service hubs as smaller towns shrink and people relocate to these larger centres. This in turn places greater importance on high quality transport links,” said Ms Alroe.

“Improvements in digital connectivity have helped, providing access to new services like on demand transport and electric vehicles, while improving access for people in regional areas through tele-health and improved communications. However, we need to do more to ensure small towns and regional communities also benefit from these advancements.

“Satellite cities – such as Wollongong, Newcastle, Geelong, the Sunshine Coast and Gold Coast – benefit from high levels of infrastructure access and quality as a result of their proximity to their larger neighbours. While these cities have the capacity to support growth, additional investment will be needed to ensure services are of an appropriate scale to support increased population.

“Poorer access to infrastructure services in our remote communities is reinforcing disadvantage. In many parts of the country, service provision falls below what is acceptable for a highly developed nation, including remote communities experiencing social housing overcrowding, limited access to drinking water, inadequate transport and poor telecommunications, which in turn translates to poorer health standards and quality of life for their residents.

“For industry, well-targeted infrastructure investment is critical to support international competitiveness. Our supply chains, and key inputs like water and energy, are well understood products of infrastructure, however the health and education of the workforce are highly dependent on social infrastructure and subsequently so too is national productivity,” Ms Alroe said.

New analysis of the Household Expenditure Survey conducted for the Audit found the average household spent over $314 each week on infrastructure in 2015/16 – or $16,000 annually.

“Australians earning the lowest 20% of incomes across the country spend around a third of what they earn on infrastructure. This is above a level that would be considered affordable.

“Australian’s perceptions of affordability are mixed, and often perceptions do not align with actual service costs. While concerns about rising energy prices are widely held, the proportion of household incomes spent on energy is relatively low, 2-6%, in contrast to transport which accounts for between 10-22%.

“Data on infrastructure affordability is poor and outdated, and more needs to be done to provide transparency to the community on infrastructure access and quality,” said Ms Alroe.

The 2019 Audit also finds that constant and rapid change is creating challenges for the way we plan, design and deliver infrastructure.

“A clear challenge that emerges from the 2019 Audit is that our current tools are not well placed to deal with many of the new infrastructure problems we are facing in today’s rapidly changing environment. Our population is growing and changing, the structure of the economy is shifting, our communities and environment are experiencing weather extremes, and rapid technology change is fundamentally reshaping our day-to-day lives.

“Growing social, economic and environmental interdependencies have added complexity to planning, delivering and operating our infrastructure.

“Projects across Australia are getting larger and increasingly complex, and will require new approaches if they are to be effectively delivered. So-called mega projects – projects larger than $1 billion in value – are becoming the default, increasing the burden on the sector, and in some cases exceeding industry capacity. If we are going to continue to be productive and accommodate change, we need to grow industry skills and capacity.

“The 2019 Audit finds that engagement with customers and the broader community on project planning, needs to increase across most sectors and jurisdictions. A failure to engage can carry substantial costs to projects, and it is estimated that around $20 billion worth of infrastructure projects was delayed, cancelled or mothballed due to community opposition over the past decade.

“Better engagement with communities and businesses can help to establish a social licence for projects as it provides an opportunity to incorporate their feedback through project planning and delivery. Establishing genuine community buy-in for need to reform must be a priority for government and industry alike as we embark on a new era of investment and reform to meet Australia’s changing and growing infrastructure needs,” Ms Alroe said.

Consultation

Infrastructure Australia is calling for feedback and submissions in response to 136 challenges and 44 opportunities identified in the 2019 Audit. Submissions will be open until 31 October 2019.

Submissions are accepted via the Infrastructure Australia website, and will inform the approach and recommendations for reform identified in the forthcoming Australian Infrastructure Plan. Submissions identifying projects and initiatives for the 2020 Infrastructure Priority List are also open until 31 August.

DAVID CHANDLER OAM APPOINTED NSW BUILDING COMMISSIONER

MEDIA RELEASE

Thursday, 1 August 2019

DAVID CHANDLER OAM APPOINTED NSW BUILDING COMMISSIONER

 

Home owners will be better protected following the appointment of building and construction expert David Chandler OAM as NSW Building Commissioner.

Premier Gladys Berejiklian said the appointment of Mr Chandler was part of the NSW Government’s commitment to implementing the biggest overhaul to building laws in the State’s history.

“David has more than 40 years’ industry experience, which will be invaluable as we move to restore confidence in the building and construction industry,” Ms Berejiklian said.

“We know there are national challenges affecting the industry, but this new appointment will play a key role in protecting NSW homeowners and driving critical reforms.”

The Building Commissioner will be responsible for the investigation and disciplinary action for misconduct in the building industry while overseeing the end to end licensing and auditing across the building industry.

The Commissioner will also drive legislative reforms of the building industry, including consultation with industry.

This will include legislation to be introduced later this year requiring building practitioners to be registered, a new duty of care to make it easier for home owners to seek compensation against negligent building practitioners, and ensuring all buildings are designed and constructed to plans that comply with the Building Code of Australia.

Minister for Better Regulation Kevin Anderson said the Building Commissioner’s priority will be to continue the extensive work that has already been started by the NSW Government to reform the building and construction industry.

“David will lead the implementation of this reform and will advise the Government on additional reforms that may be needed to ensure better protections for homeowners and purchasers, and lift building standards across NSW,” Mr Anderson said.

Mr Chandler has welcomed the opportunity to work with the Government to strengthen the building and construction industry.

“Recent events have reduced community confidence in how buildings are designed and constructed and how they perform, but I welcome the leadership and commitment being shown by the Government to implement change that will strengthen the construction industry foundations in NSW,” Mr Chandler said.

Mr Chandler will start in the position on 14 August 2019.

 

MEDIA: Beau Mitchem │Premier │0418 151 808

William Sparling │Minister Anderson │0408 576 636

BUILDING MINISTERS’ FORUM COMMUNIQUE

The Building Ministers’ Forum (BMF) met today in Sydney to discuss a range of issues facing the building and construction sector. Ministers also met with industry representatives and discussed matters including professional indemnity insurance and implementation of the Building Confidence report.

Building Ministers agreed to a national approach to the implementation of the Building Confidence report. It was noted that many issues are historical and will continue to be addressed as the need arises. However, Ministers acknowledged the issues of the past won’t cripple the future of the sector and, to that end, Ministers committed to work together to build a stronger building and construction sector in Australia.

Building Ministers will strengthen the Australian Building Codes Board

The strategic plan of the Australian Building Codes Board will be recast to better reflect the current challenges in the building sector.

The Australian Building Codes Board will be expanded to include greater representation and engagement from industry.

States and territories retain responsibility for building and construction matters

The Commonwealth will continue to help facilitate on the clear understanding that the states and territories have powers and responsibilities to regulate building matters. States and territories will take responsibility for their individual paths to remediation and rectification.

All jurisdictions support a national framework to address the issues identified in the Shergold Weir Building Confidence Report

To achieve this an implementation team will be established, for a period of time, as part of the Australian Building Codes Board. The implementation team will be tasked with developing and publicly reporting on a national framework for the consistent implementation of recommendations of the Shergold Weir Building Confidence report, as well as the design, construction and certification of complex buildings.

Industry are invited to contribute to the development of the framework through in-kind secondments to the implementation team.

The national framework will be responsive to the most efficient mechanism to achieve the desired outcome and will result in amendments to the National Construction Code (NCC) and/or the development of other guidance as required.

Adoption of the framework and ultimate implementation of the Building Confidence report recommendations will remain the responsibility of the state and territory governments.

States and territories will work towards a coordinated approach to professional indemnity insurance

To achieve this a professional indemnity options paper, developed in collaboration between New South Wales and Queensland, will be released for targeted consultation with insurers and the building industry. The options paper will set out a pathway for professional standards schemes and alternative insurance options. Outcomes of consultation will be reported back to the Building Ministers’ Forum by September 2019.

The building ministers called on insurers to meet their existing obligations and lift their exclusions on professional indemnity insurance following this strong action by states and territories.

Silicosis

Building Ministers noted their continuing concern about the re-emergence of the illness of silicosis and the devastating impact that this disease has on sufferers and their families. Ministers agreed to support the work being pursued by the COAG Health Council and Work, Health and Safety Ministers to reduce and respond to instances of silicosis.

ACT Builder Licensing Exams

Ministers noted the work of the ACT in introducing examinations for Builders’ Licenses, and agreed that the Commonwealth would seek information from Australian Skills Quality Authority on planned audits of building and construction qualifications, the potential to include these in the ASQA’s work plan, expediting this where necessary and will invite ASQA to the next meeting of the BMF to report on this.

Technical specification for permanent labelling of Aluminium Composite Panels

Ministers also welcomed the release of a consultation paper by Standards Australia on a technical specification for permanent labelling of aluminium composite panels (ACPs).

Energy efficiency

Ministers also agreed to the development of enhanced energy efficiency provisions for residential buildings in the National Construction Code, informed by the COAG Energy Council’s trajectory for low energy buildings. The ABCB will shortly release a paper for public consultation on options for implementing these provisions in the NCC.

NCC out-of-cycle amendment

The BMF signalled their intent to undertake an out-of-cycle amendment to the NCC to introduce enhanced fire safety measures for early childhood centres in high-rise buildings. These changes will be progressed in coming months through a public Regulatory Impact Assessment.

Next BMF meeting

The BMF will meet again in December 2019.\

BMF Industry Roundtable

INDUSTRY GROUPS CALL FOR URGENT AUSTRALIA-WIDE ACTION ON BUILDING REGULATION

 

 

 

 

Background

Australia’s fragmented approach to regulatory enforcement and compliance with building regulations requires a renewed commitment to national action to maintain public confidence in our built environment. The concerns of the signatories are characterised by the following:

  • Australian and international insurers are introducing strict cladding-related exclusions in mandatory professional indemnity insurance products for building practitioners in the building supply
  • The discovery of major defects in buildings has significantly reduced the ability of those building owners to find an insurer willing to accept the
  • State and territory governments have not taken a consistent and comprehensive approach to undertaking and completing audits of existing high-rise buildings with combustible cladding, nor developed a remediation
  • Governments are taking an inconsistent and fragmented approach to implementing reforms described in the Shergold-Weir report, which was released 18 months

Though some action has been taken to amend the National Construction Code (NCC) and effectively eliminate the use of many types of combustible cladding on new building facades, the response of state and territory governments to dealing with cladding on existing buildings has been patchy and inconsistent.

The building, construction, property and insurance industries have continued their calls for state and territory governments to adopt a consistent and best practice regulatory response to the challenges presented by combustible cladding.

Positive action has been taken in some jurisdictions, however other states are lagging and the continued inconsistency in the approach across governments is manifesting in the crisis confronting building practitioners in the building supply chain. This has led to significant increases in professional indemnity premiums and a reduction in cover via exclusions on combustible cladding and non-conforming building products.

Building surveyors, engineers and architects are now struggling to obtain the insurance they need to do their job, which in turn could seriously affect future building or construction activity.

Consumers, building owners, building practitioners and their insurers need certainty and confidence in building regulation. Building and construction, when combined with the property sector, is the nation’s largest industry, provides the most full-time jobs and is a vital engine of economic growth. The economy must not be put at risk by the failure to provide certainty through a consistent approach in dealing with these issues.

The entire building and construction supply chain risks being further impacted by this continued uncertainty, and industry participants want to work cooperatively with governments to rebuild that confidence.

We urge the Commonwealth, State and Territory governments to work together in providing certainty through a uniform national approach to dealing with these matters.

What needs to be done
As organisations representing the building, construction, property and insurance industries, we urge the Federal Government to play a leadership role and bring together all state and territory governments to:

  1. Develop and implement a consistent and best practice Australia-wide response for risk assessment and a rectification strategy for existing buildings with combustible cladding with an agreed timetable that reflects the urgency of the issue. This will reduce confusion, clarify the scale of the challenge and support a viable professional indemnity insurance market that provides the coverage needed by industry participants and building
  2. Establish a joint government-industry task force to oversee urgent and consistent implementation of all Shergold-Weir report recommendations across all

 

Signed:
Property Council of Australia
Insurance Council of Australia
Ai Group
Australian Construction Industry Forum
Master Builders Australia

Media contacts:
Ai Group: Tony Melville 0419 190 347
Insurance Council of Australia: Campbell Fuller 0407 170 500
Master Builders Australia: Ben Carter 0447 775 507
Property Council of Australia: Matt Francis 0467 777 220
Australian Construction Industry Forum: Stella McKinney 0423 663 544

QUEENSLAND GOVERNMENT TO BAN COMBUSTIBLE CLADDING

Media Release

Minister for Housing and Public Works
Minister for Digital Technology and Minister for Sport
The Honourable Mick de Brenni

Combustible cladding is set to be completely banned on all new Queensland buildings, following industry support for proposed new regulations that were discussed at yesterday’s Ministerial Construction Council.

Minister for Housing and Public Works Mick de Brenni proposed the new regulation as part of a two-pronged approach to provide a lifeline to the State’s certifiers caught up in a shrinking insurance market.

The combustible cladding ban would extend to all aluminium composite panels with a PE core of greater than 30 per cent, and it would restrict usage across all buildings in Queensland.

Mr de Brenni said the proposals would help to protect Queenslanders, but called on the Commonwealth Government to protect Australians and introduce an importation ban on all aluminium composite panels with a PE core.

“I’ve made numerous calls on the Commonwealth to ban this combustible cladding at the border, they can’t keep dodging this responsibility to the people of Australia,” Mr de Brenni said.

“This is an opportunity to both reduce risk and back Australian manufacturing jobs, to which Prime Minister Scott Morrison should be jumping at the chance.

“And again, I call on Minister Karen Andrews to urgently address the issue at a national level, as the retraction of the insurance market has to be rectified by the Federal Treasury.”

The proposals discussed at yesterday’s meeting include also requiring certifiers to declare that combustible cladding hasn’t been used, and that there hasn’t been any product substitution during the construction process.

The other key solution to help certifiers proposed by the Queensland Government during the industry meeting, was to allow certifiers to remain licensed while they are holding professional indemnity (PI) insurance featuring cladding related exclusions.

Mr de Brenni said the ban on combustible cladding paved the way for the Queensland Government to allow certifiers to hold PI insurance with exclusions.

“By banning combustible cladding on new construction in Queensland, it means there doesn’t need to be an expense for certifiers in the form of exclusion free insurance,” Mr de Brenni said.

“However, allowing insurance with exclusions is a time-limited solution that provides the industry with immediate confidence to continue operating.

“These proposals are designed to ensure that jobs growth in Queensland doesn’t slow and construction industry practitioners continue to remain in the industry.

“We’ve already seen insurers attempting to cut and run from the market by withdrawing their insurance products and that means they escape their obligations, and that’s not on.

“This has put at risk hundreds of thousands of jobs in the sector and it’s got the potential to impact homeowners who would be left holding the can if they have to pursue litigation with dodgy buildings.

“Certifiers provide a level of protection for homeowners and we need to keep them in the industry.

“It means that as of today, the 400 licensed certifiers in Queensland will continue to be able to work tomorrow, and that means our record on job creation will continue, however subject to stringent conditions.

“The restrictions are part of the immediate term resolution of the issues to be followed by a suite of longer term system reform approaches including continuing to pursue a national ban on the importation of dodgy cladding.

“Prime Minister Morrison has a chance here to help rebuild confidence in the industry and back in local manufacturing jobs by banning dodgy cladding that fails community standards, but in the meantime we will have to impose extra requirements on the sector.”

Yesterday’s proposals followed a number of weeks’ discussion with industry leaders on solutions to the certifier insurance issue.

A PricewaterhouseCoopers report released by the Palaszczuk Government yesterday shines a light on the effects caused by the deregulation of the Australian construction industry.

“Building industry professionals, from architects, to engineers and building certifiers, plus developers, play a pivotal role in ensuring that the built environment is safe and fit-for-purpose.”

Mr de Brenni said PwC’s analysis showed the issue was not limited to Queensland, but a national issue affecting the building industry in all states and territories.

“Queensland has continued to work with industry on this issue,” he said. “I am committed to ensuring the viability of Queensland’s building and construction industry and am invested in ensuring the most appropriate and considered approach is taken to this situation.

“Queensland has led the way on behalf of the Building Ministers’ Forum for permanent labelling of aluminium composite panels, reducing the issues found through investigations around product substitution.

“But whilst Queensland leads the nation with building industry reforms, there is still more work to be done.”

 

ENDS

Media contact Rosie Gilbert 0466 834 330

“The Government will now consider the in-depth recommendations before deciding on the next steps.”

NEW BUILDING WEBSITE TO IMPROVE CONSUMER AND INDUSTRY AWARENESS

Media Release

 

Gordon Ramsay MLA
Attorney-General
Minister for the Arts and Cultural Events
Minister for Building Quality Improvement
Minister for Business and Regulatory Services
Minister for Seniors and Veterans

 

The ACT Government has today launched a new website designed to raise awareness and provide educational outcomes about consumer and industry requirements in the ACT construction sector.

The launch of the website comes as the Government continues its commitment to reform the building industry by making it easier for consumers and businesses to access important information.

Importantly, the website details what is required of builders, developers and consumers when considering what is required to build, buy or renovate in the ACT.

Additionally, the website has easy to access links detailing dispute resolution processes for consumers, as well as other important information like the disciplinary register and a register of licensed practitioners.

Minister for Building Quality Improvement Gordon Ramsay encouraged consumers to thoroughly investigate the work history of who they were choosing to hire when they were building a new home, or who has built a property they were considering purchasing.

“Canberrans should expect that their housing is safe and of an appropriate standard. Our city is growing fast, and we need to have building work that meets both ACT and National standards,” Minister Ramsay said.

“We want a community that is empowered, where people have all the information they need and understand their rights and responsibilities when embarking on a purchase or renovation project.

“To assist Canberrans in finding out about all things ‘building’ we have created a one-stop website for consumers and industry members to find out the relevant policy and regulation that applies in the ACT.

“If you are looking for a builder – we have made it even easier to search for a licensed professional via our database as well as make an enquiry or lodge a complaint if necessary.”

Minister Ramsay said information on the website would continue to be enhanced and resources added over the coming months, including videos and other user-friendly resources.

For more information visit: www.act.gov.au/buildbuyrenovate

Media contact: Anton Gallacher          T (02) 6207 3795      M 0422 574108      anton.gallacher@act.gov.au

FEDERAL GOVERNMENT INACTION AFTER GRENFELL TOWER TRAGEDY PUTS QLD AT RISK

Minister for Housing and Public Works, Minister for Digital Technology and Minister for Sport
The Honourable Mick de Brenni

Media Release

Federal Government Inaction After Grenfell Tower Tragedy Puts Queenslanders At Risk

Two years on from the Grenfell Tower inferno in London, the global aftershocks are pushing Queensland’s building industry into an insurance crisis.

To protect the community and stabilise the building industry, the Queensland Government is considering ending the use of provisions that have allowed combustible cladding on buildings over three storeys.

Minister for Housing and Public Works Mick de Brenni has called an urgent extraordinary meeting of his Ministerial Construction Council (MCC) to discuss a range of measures to stop construction works in Queensland from grinding to a standstill.

“The Queensland building and construction industry employs 230,000 Queenslanders and unrectified combustible cladding poses a risk to tradies and Queenslanders where they live and work.

“For too long “creative solutions”, including performance solutions, that allow combustible cladding to be installed on high-rise buildings have been permeating the industry and the State’s built environment.

“Due to the Morrison Government’s inaction we’ve got to the point where combustible cladding is causing insurance companies to exit the market and crank up their charges to certifiers,” he said.

“We’ve had reports of some insurance premiums increasing by thousands of dollars, some by up to 226 per cent more than the previous year.

‘Our certifiers keep the building industry ticking and the Palaszczuk Government will not see Queenslanders out of work due to federal inaction on this issue.

“The era of “bendable rules” must finish. Complacency and the misuse of performance-based solutions has seen buildings in Australia clad in solid petrol,” Mr de Brenni said. “I think Queenslanders would want us to simply outlaw that practice if it will remove the risk of a cladding disaster and stabilise our vital building industry.”

Banning performance solutions is a move which has already been introduced by the West Australian government, and local industry reports that it is an approach that is working well.

“Queensland may join WA in departing from key elements of the Canberra-developed building code.

“The National Construction Code was a good idea but has become a vehicle for reckless industry practises and deregulation by stealth.

“It’s all very well for the Federal Government to claim a failing by the states but when the rule book is so loose and open to interpretation, then the Commonwealth must tighten those rules or realise the state governments will have to deal with the unacceptable ambiguities.

“Our priority has to be about people, profits have taken centre stage in this sector for too long,” Mr de Brenni said.

“It’s just as important that we support Queensland’s $45 billion building and construction industry and keep it operating sustainably and safely and this means keeping certifiers in business.”

Mr de Brenni said the insurance crisis for certifiers has been triggered by the insurance industry reacting to the combustible cladding scandal.

“The Federal Government has failed to ban the importation of dodgy combustible cladding despite the risks it presents, so the State Government will be ensuring the Queensland community is protected.

“Some industry groups have been calling for the government to allow certifiers to approve buildings without adequate professional indemnity insurance.

“If this means allowing insurance policy with exclusions then the only way I think this would be satisfactory to the public would be if we removed the ability to use high-risk products on high-rise buildings. This means banning the use of performance solutions or alternative methods of compliance to the law.”

A raft of recommendations from an independent PricewaterhouseCoopers report into the insurance issue will be considered at the MCC meeting on Tuesday 18 June 2019, along with other measures including:

  • Changing licensing rules for certifiers to allow them to practice with exclusion in their mandatory profession indemnity insurance.
  • the creation of a national professional standards body for certifiers, much like that which exists for lawyers, solicitors, architects, and engineers;
  • expediting a permanent labelling system for Aluminium Composite Panels in Australia to prevent substitution;
  • and establishing a model to indemnify certifiers who are involved in combustible cladding rectification or remediation work on buildings.

PRE-FAB INNOVATION LAB FOR BUILDING INDUSTRY

The Hon Karen Andrews MP
Minister for Industry, Science and Technology
Federal Member for McPherson

MEDIA RELEASE

 

PRE-FAB INNOVATION LAB FOR BUILDING INDUSTRY

The Morrison Government is backing Australia’s manufacturing and building and construction sectors, with support for the prefabricated building industry.

Up to $2 million will be spent developing a new collaborative lab to help manufacturers design innovative new prefabricated buildings that are more eco-friendly, affordable and can significantly reduce times for construction.

Minister for Industry, Science and Technology Karen Andrews said the new lab would support work on a wide range of buildings, including tiny houses, larger homes and offices and strengthen Australia’s position in the global prefabricated building market.

“This sector is starting to build significant momentum and currently represents 3-5 per cent of Australia’s $150 billion construction industry,” Minister Andrews said.

“This share could grow to 15 per cent by 2025, creating 20,000 new Australian jobs and adding $30 billion to our economy.

“The Morrison Government is committed to helping support and grow this emerging industry and ensure Australia seizes this opportunity.”

The prefabricated modular building industry includes modular houses and offices created in a factory setting and then transported directly to site.

To kick-start this new project, the Advanced Manufacturing Growth Centre will receive up to $2 million in funding to undertake a feasibility study and, based on the findings, establish a collaborative innovation lab.

The Coalition is already supporting leading research in this area, announcing $4 million in funding to the Australian Research Council Training Centre for Advanced Manufacturing of Prefabricated Housing.

The Morrison Government is committed to Australia’s advanced manufacturing sector, as part of our plan to grow the economy and create 1.25 million new jobs over the next five years.

Media Contact: Valeria Cheglov 0438 494 351 / Keegan Buzza 0447 697 846 Office of the Hon Karen Andrews MP, Member for McPherson, Varsity Lakes, QLD

LET’S TALK MEN’S HEALTH IN THE WORKPLACE

Canberra construction workers and employers this morning discussed the health needs of men over a healthy burrito breakfast as part of Men’s Health Week.

Sadly, 93% of workplace deaths are men. Men suffer from more lifestyle-related health conditions and are less likely to seek medical advice. We often take a ‘she’ll be right’ attitude to our health.

Making small lifestyle changes can have a huge impact on men’s lives as individuals and in our workplaces.

Healthier Work and the OzHelp Foundation, who helped organise today’s breakfast, can help employers develop health and wellbeing initiatives that support workers making healthy lifestyle changes.

A preventiative arm of WorkSafe ACT, Healthier Work is a free service available to ACT businesses. It currently supports 75 local workplaces to develop and implement health and wellbeing programs.

The ACT Government is proud to fund the important work of the OzHelp Foundation, which is helping men in hard to reach industries like construction. The Foundation builds the capacity of workplaces to recognise and respond to mental illness and suicide risk.

Businesses that invest in the wellbeing of their workers beyond just meeting their work health and safety obligations can benefit from reduced rates of injury and illness, increased productivity, improved staff retention and, importantly, happier workers.

2019 ACT PROFESSIONAL EXCELLENCE IN BUILDING AWARDS RESULTS

2019 ACT BUILDING PROFESSIONAL OF THE YEAR

Team Leader: Warren Fenwick MAIB
Company: Hindmarsh Construction Australia
Project: Building 145
Category: Commercial Constructions $25 million to $50 million

The judges stated that this project manager demonstrated tremendous leadership and professionalism in delivering a high quality project to his client. Warren has continued to build on his considerable experience by planning, managing and executing a complex project in the center of a busy University campus. Whether it was budget pressures, existing services infrastructure, site access, hazardous materials remediation, subcontractor management, façade installation or the preservation of a 50-year-old sculpture, Warren was able to lead the project to a successful outcome. His capacity to manage a range of stakeholder interests while proactively resolving several design, cost and construct ability issues is a benchmark for aspiring building professionals.

PROFESSIONAL EXCELLENCE

Team Leader: Warren Fenwick
Company: Hindmarsh Construction Australia
Project: Building 145
Category: Commercial Constructions $25 million to $50 million

PROFESSIONAL EXCELLENCE

Team Leader: Peter Henden FAIB
Company: Cercol Construction Services Pty Ltd
Project: Towns Crescent Rectification Works
Category: Other

HIGH COMMENDATION

Team Leader: Andrew Curran AMAIB
Company: Shaw Building Group Pty Ltd
Project: Refurbishment/Extension of Fred Ward Gardens Aged Care Facility, Curtin
Category: Interior Construction

HIGH COMMENDATION

Team Leader: Jack Turnbull AMAIB
Company: Capcorp Constructions
Project: John McGrath Maserati
Category: Commercial Constructions $1 million to $25 million

HIGH COMMENDATION

Team Leader: Ron Jedrzejek
Company: Shaw Building Group Pty Ltd
Project: The Canberra Hospital Hydraulic Infrastructure Renewal
Category: Infrastructure